«При поддержке Германского исторического института в Москве К65 Конструируя «советское»? Политическое сознание, повсе дневные практики, новые идентичности : материалы научной ...»
The critical voices were rare when discussing the most essential features of 176 Muhonen Riikka state ideology and collective memory, such as the Great Patriotic War. The war was mostly described as something so sacred that its value simply could not be questioned. This shows that patriotism was undeniably the most important social value of the era and it is visible also in most of the other topics discussed, such as work, choice of profession and even human relations.
The letters from readers are still a rarely used source in the field of Soviet history, even though they were the most important way for the Soviet citizens to express their opinions and demand changes in the society.
The letters as representations of experienced reality point out things that were seen as valuable, interesting or problematic according to the people themselves.
Takehiro Okabe University of Helsinki Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies Postgraduate Student firstname.lastname@example.org
BETWEEN THE SOVIET SUPERIORITY AND
«COSMPOLITANIST»: THE SOVIET FOLKLORISTS AND THE
KALEVALA CENTENIAL JUBILEE IN 1949The Soviet intellectuals in the late 1940s experienced a series of harsh ideological campaigns such as «anti-kowtowing to the West» and «anticosmopolitanism». The leading researchers were forced to leave the university and institute. However, they were the excellent scholars who could show the Soviet scientific supremacy. They were «cosmopolitanists»
and, at the same time, the best representatives of the Soviet academy. This dilemma became apparent when they were invited to give the paper at the academic session of the Kalevala centennial jubilee in Petrozavodsk in 1949.
This jubilee in Petrozavodsk competed with the other Kalevala jubilee in Finland. The Finnish academic elites remained almost intact through the post-war Soviet and communist pressure and kept their significant influence on the Finnish society. Thus, the Soviet Kalevala jubilee was expected to show the Soviet scientific superiority over Finland and propagate it to both the Soviet and Finnish intellectuals. Consequently, the Soviet power needed the leading Soviet folklorists.The aim of this paper is to explain how the Soviet folklorists constructed «the Soviet» for the academic session. The folklorists worked between «the Soviet superiority over Finland» and «anticosmopolitanism campaign». Furthermore, the Soviet jubilee was influenced by the change about the interpretation of the Kalevala in the post-war Finland. Therefore, this paper discusses «the Soviet» constructed by the Soviet folklore knowledge, the Soviet ideology and the rivalry with the Finnish bourgeoisie.
The Kalevala and the KarelianFinnish Republic During the Great Patriotic War, the Kalevala was the symbol of the Finnish occupation and the idea of «Great Finland», which claimed that Karelian was a part of the Finnish nation. The Soviet side stressed the historical friendship and alliance between Russian and Karelian and concealed «-Finnish» in the 178 Takehiro Okabe war-time propaganda. After the liberation, Moscow urged the local party to propagate the Russian-Karelian friendship to the population1.
In this situation, the position of Finn and the Kalevala remained quite ambiguous. The enemy image of the Finnish «fascists» often blurred the class difference between the White and Red Finn. The new Kalevala centennial jubilee would be an occasion for the leadership, scholars and Kuusinen to clarify the position of Finn and the Kalevala in the Soviet Union. The Karelian-Finnish branch of the Soviet Academy of Science decided to hold an academic session on the Kalevala and invited Propp and Zhirmunsky as the speakers of this session.
«AntiCosmopolitanism Campaign» in the Literature Studies The jubilee preparation suffered a serious blow by the ideological campaign. The Leningrad speakers became the targets of this campaign, that is, the attack against the so-called «Veselovsky school». According to this campaign, Veselovsky was inclined toward the West European culture and ignored the Marx-Leninism methodology and underestimated the centrality of Russian culture. Thus, the ideologues criticized Veselovsky and his followers as «cosmopolitanists».
Zhirmunsky was criticized by the Pravda for his comparative method in his work on the Uzbek national epic and his ignoring the Russian culture. As to Propp, the attacks went to his structuralist approach to the folklore studies.
The official line of the Soviet folklore studies stressed the folklore singer’s personality and role, and claimed that what was told and sung in folklores reflected true historical facts in the past. The campaigns accused Propp of allegedly his ignoring this people’s role in folklore and of denying that the folklore reflects exactly the past events. This «structural» or «comparativetypological» approach, however, had an origin in the works of Veselovsky.
The Kalevala in the postwar Finland
The Soviet jubilee was contextualized by the third factor: the transformation of the Finnish nationalism. As to the Finnish nationalism, the folklore studies played a significant role. Above all, the so-called «Krohn school» or «Finnish school»
had a powerful influence in the society. According to this school, the Kalevala runes were born in South-Western Finland and later migrated into Russian Karelia.
Using his famous «historical-geographical method», Kaarle Krohn showed where the Kalevala runes were born and how they migrated to Russian Karelia. According Hyyti O. Karjalais-Suomalainen Neuvostotasavalta, 1940–1956: Kansallinen Tasavalta? Helsinki. 1999. P. 94–97.
Between the Soviet superiority and «cosmpolitanist»… to this discussion, the Karelian people played a passive role in the making of the Kalevala, that is, they just received the runes from the west, preserved them for centuries and told them to Lnnrot, who made the Kalevala using them.
Besides, the school claimed that the Finnish nation found its warlike and brave ancestors and heroes in the Kalevala. This nationalist notion scientifically justified the ideology of «the Great Finland»2. The defeat made the Finnish establishment abandon this ideology. Still, the Finnish intellectuals were determined to use defensively the Kalevala as the national symbol which guarantees the independence of Finland from the eastern neighbor3. Against these supporters of «the Great Finland», the Finnish leftists went on the offensive after the war. It was Vin Kaukonen, a young philologist, who appeared as a leading leftist intellectual. Kaukonen claimed that the Kalevala was not the authentic national epic but a literature where various runes were gathered and ordered artificially by Lnnrot to create the Finnish national epic. Thus, one cannot find no true historical facts in it4. This claim, welcomed by the Finnish communists, provoked a heated discussion and was partially accepted by the Finnish Kalevala jubilee. The jubilee decided to focus on Lnnrot’s work and life rather than what the Kalevala tells about the national past5.
The Soviet jubilee had to show its superiority over Finland by refuting the Krohn school and Kaukonen.
Constructing «the Soviet» Kalevala
As the chairman of the jubilee committee, Kuusinen was responsible for the ideological rightness and scientific validity of the session. In Febuary 1948, the speakers submitted their drafts to the committee. The most important aim for Kuusinen was to expose the narrow and deviational character of the bourgeois Finnish nationalism by the Soviet science6. In other words, the Soviet jubilee had to show that the Soviet Union could overcome such narrow nationalism and the Soviet Kalevala, like other Soviet national symbols, would join in the Soviet family.
Wilson W.A. Folklore and Nationalism in Modern Finland. Bloomington. 1976.
Especially chapter 2 and 3.
Wilson W.A. Sata vuotta Kalevalan juhlintaa // Knuuttila S., Laaksonen P., Piela U.
Kalevalan Kulttuurihistoria. Helsinki. 2008. P. 231.
Kalleinen K. Kansallisen Tieteen ja Taiteen Puolesta: Kalevalaseura 1911–2011.
Helsinki. 2011. P. 109.
However, the political pressure of the time demanded the jubilee to claim the Eastern, Karelian and even Russian origin of the Kalevala runes. Kuusinen stressed the Karelian origin of the runes in his own paper and requested the other speakers to follow this line. The speakers well understood that the discussion on the origins was scientifically meaningless and meant the same narrow nationalism as the Finnish school had long supported. Consequently, the speakers tried to avoid the discussion on the origin.
The Past in the Kalevala In his draft, Propp tried to refute both the Finnish school and Kaukonen.
On the one hand, Propp claimed the impossibility to specify the runes’ birthplace and to find out the historical facts in the Kalevala. On the other hand, unlike Kaukonen, Propp insisted that one could reconstruct people’s past using the Kalevala. Of course, this past did not tell precisely what happened in the past, but showed the social system, material culture and the way of life (byt) of the past people. To reconstruct this past requires to compare a number of the variants concerning the Kalevala runes each other and with other national epic runes. As a result, the Soviet folkloristics would show people’s past and historical struggle in a national form, as other national epics showed in the same manner7. Propp’s structuralist approach offered the possibility to «gift» the national past using the Kalevala to the Karelian people, reinforce the Soviet ideology, and refute the Finnish scholars.
However, his structuralist approach was under a fierce attack in the media and university. Besides, in his draft, Propp explicitly stated that the discussion on the origin was meaningless, and the Finnish school and Kaukonen had their own advantages which the Soviet scholars should accept8. The committee asked Propp to rewrite the draft but Propp declined9.
Though giving up his draft, Propp agreed to supervise the paper and works of Evseev (young Karelian folklorist), and expected that Evseev practiced his method with a vast amount of Karelian folklore materials. In his draft, Evseev stated that his paper showed the genesis and development of Kalevala runes and the role Karelian people played in it comparing the variants of the Kalevala runes with Slavic and Baltic epics10. After reading the Propp V.Y. «Kalevala» v svete fol’klora // Propp V.Y. Fol’klor. Literatura. Istoriia.
M., 2002. P. 134–136.
NARK. F. R-1394. Op. 6. D. 242/1211. L. 95–96.
Nauchnyi Arkhiv KarNTs RAN (Research Archive of the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Science). F. 1. Op. 4. D. 120. L. 20.
Between the Soviet superiority and «cosmpolitanist»… draft, Kuusinen commented that Evseev should differentiate his point of view more clearly and boldly from the Finnish bourgeois point of view and consult with Zhirmunsky11. It was not clear what advice Kuusinen wanted Zhirmunsky to gave Evseev, and what advice Zhirmunsky and, probably, Propp gave to Evseev. In his session paper, Evseev cut the discussion on the genesis of the runes and concentrated on the historical development and formation of the runes. Employing Propp’s approach, Evseev discussed that the Karelian runes and songs including the Kalevala runes were historically formed through the mutual interaction with Russian and Finnish folklores and reflected the Karelian people’s social life and material culture12.
In this way, the speakers tried to avoid discussing the origin and overcome the nationalist view with the «progressive» Soviet science. Besides, they showed the past of the Karelian-Finnish people using the Kalevala runes, which Kaukonen denied. For this, Propp’s «cosmopolitanist» approach was essential.
Giving Subjectivity to the Karelian people
Kuusinen assigned Zhirmunsky to refute the Finnish school in detail and show the Soviet point of view. Kuusinen wrote a personal letter to him about what he should speak at the session13. Zhirmunsky followed Kuusinen’s instruction but avoided carefully the discussion on the origin. In his draft, he stated that his paper would be «against the nationalist theory of purely-Finnish origin of the Kalevala» and stress «the creative participation of the Karelian singers into the making of the Kalevala» (underlined by the author)14.
Kuusinen admitted the draft and Zhirmunsky had a chance to justify his own method and the legacy of Veselovsky.
At the session, he criticised the Finnish school for its nationalist view and ignoring the Karelian people’s active contribution to the creation of the
Kalevala. Zhirmusnky claimed:
Against these reactionary theories of West-European and Finnish bourgeois science, we have possibility to set up a view from the Soviet folkloristics, which newly deepened the tradition of the progressive Russian NARK. F. R-1394. Op. 6. D. 242/1211. L. 93a.
Evseev V.I. Puti razvitiia karel’skikh epicheskikh pesen // Trudy yubileinoi nauchnoi sessii, posviashchennoi 100-letiiu polnogo izdaniia «Kalevaly». Petrozavodsk,
1950. P. 99–121.
Chistov K.V. Vopominaniia o moem pervom direktore // D. V. Bubrikh: k 100-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia / Ed. G.M. Kert. SPb. 1992. P. 89–97.
folkloristics of the pre-revolutionary time in this problem. The Russian and Soviet folklorists have always paid a special attention to the study of the popular artists’ creations, (…) and the speciality of their creative individualities.
(…) we see the very «creative variants» which, regardless of the problem on time and place of one or another subject, obviously testify the active participation of the Karelian singers and people into the making and development of the Karelian-Finnish epic15.
These creations and individualities are reflected in the various variants which the Soviet folklorists gathered. Therefore, like Propp, Zhirmusnky claimed that the task of the Soviet science was to clarify the social relation, the way of life and national character of the Karelian people, which proved the active and creative participation of the people into the making of the Kalevala.
Zhirmunsky played his role to warrant the Karelian people their subjectivity in the making of the Kalevala. Furthermore, Zhirmunsky assured Evseev’s paper and previous works were right and Evseev would finally answer the problem on the formation of the Kalevala runes16. Only in this context, Zhirmunsky could justify his method.
The Soviet Kalevala jubilee aimed to show the Soviet superiority over Finland by presenting the Soviet approach to the Kalevala and giving the Karelian people the national past and subjectivity in the making of the Kalevala.
What is the Soviet superiority? It was articulated by the other festival and science in Finland. This otherness highlighted the Soviet national ideology, «the friendship of peoples». Thus, the Soviet power «gifted» to the Karelian people the national past and «the Kalevala». Obviously, this national ideology and the Soviet supremacy contained the Russian supremacy. However, the rivalry with the «bourgeois» Finland drove the Soviets to stress «the friendship of peoples».
For this sake, the folklorists had an opportunity to insist the validity of their research method. They avoided the political pressure to clarify the origin and reified the Soviet national ideology with refuting the Finnish «nationalist» science.
In short, at the Kalevala jubilee, «the Soviet» was constructed by the folklore knowledge, the Bolshevik ideology and Finland as Other. And this constructed «Soviet» justified the Soviet power in the Karelian-Finnish Republic.
Zhirmunskii V.M. «Kalevala» i finskaia burzhuaznaia fol’kloristika // Trudy yubileinoi nauchnoi sessii, posviashchennoi 100-letiiu polnogo izdaniia «Kalevaly».
Petrozavodsk, 1950. P. 97–98.
New veteran organizations2 started their activities at the post-Soviet space after 1991: among them veterans of the 14th Waffen SS Galicia Division united into the Galician Brotherhood of the Ist Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army in Ukraine3. The Division’s soldiers are claimed to be «collaboratorstraitors», «war criminals» by Soviet and Western historiography whereas they themself proposed another view of their wartime activities of ‘fighters for Ukrainian independence’.
In my presentation, I would like to address the issue of «the dyvyizijnyky identity», how veterans are dealing with their common and shared past activities, the Division narrative formation and its distribution. Where it is needed, the examples from Canadian Brotherhood would be provided for contrast/comparison. I do not intend to analyze the narrative and its characteristics in detail in this paper, but rather to point out the tendencies and interdependencies.
The 14th Waffen SS Division Galicia was a Ukrainian military formation in the German armed forces during WWII. The Division was commanded by German and Ukrainian officers with all senior posts reserved for Germans. The Division changed its name several times during the war. Formed in 1943, after military training the Division was largely destroyed in the battle of Brody in July 1944, then reformed, and saw action in Slovakia, Yugoslavia and Austria before being renewed as the 1st Division of the Ukrainian National Army. After preliminary investigations of the Division’s wartime record, its soldiers, who had surrendered to the Western Allies, were allowed to emigrate to Canada, USA, Germany, Great Britain and other countries, whereas those who were captured by Soviets during the Battle of Brody and afterwards spent up to twelve years in the Gulag.
I could name here veterans of the Ukrainian insurgent army (UPA) and the 14th Waffen SS Division Galicia, also Union of the political prisoners. Veterans of the Red army became part of the official narrative about Great Patriotic War during the Soviet period.
The research is based on conducted autobiographical half-structured interviews with the Division and/or UPA veterans who are living now in Western Ukraine and Canada. It also relies on memoirs, interrogation materials and criminal records of the KGB archive in Ukraine, published materials of the Brotherhood as well as state archival materials in Kyiv, Lviv and Ternopil.
Available studies of the Division are focused mainly on the accusations of the Division or organizational and military history and not at the personal experiences of its soldiers. This presentation is part of a larger oral history project on the Division. My original research questions concern of the following issues: representation of the veterans’ «space of experiences» and «horizon of expectations» during the Polish (till 1939), Soviet (1939–41) and German (1941–44) periods, individual motivations for joining the Division, German-Ukrainian relationships within the Division personnel, the history of the Brotherhood and its practices.
The Galician Brotherhood: who are «dyvizijnyky»
The Galician Brotherhood of the former Division soldiers was officially created on June 20, 1992 during the foundation meeting in Lviv, where 358 persons were present4.
this idea of the Ukrainian Brotherhood realized:
«It has been a long expected, festal day for us, Division veterans (dyvizijnyky), when we finally receive a possibility to meet all together for such a meeting in our native Ukraine that already became independent»7.
Протокол Установчих зборів колишніх вояків І УД УНА // ДАТО. Ф. Р-3464.
Оп. 1. Спр. 59. Арк. 1–4.
Галицьке братство колишніх вояків І УД «Галичина» УНА 1992–2002. Львів,
2002. С. 12.
In contrary, the Division soldiers who after the war found themselves abroad, in particular in Canada, followed a different life scenario. The main difference is that in majority cases they were lucky not to participate in the battle of Brody9. After the war, they were interned as surrendered enemy personnel and POWs who finally escaped the deportation to the Soviet Union due to the fact of being citizens of the Second Republic of Poland till 1939.
During the Soviet period veterans experienced hardships during their resocialization as the «Soviet citizens»: they were interpreted as ‘traitors’ and were restricted to talk publicly about their own past. As they mostly were captivated/imprisoned after the battle of Brody in 1944 with several exceptions, it is important to look at the state policies towards this category of people and if possible to question the accepted notion of being victims.
Counted by O.Tovaryanska based on data provided in Галицьке братство колишніх вояків І УД «Галичина» УНА 1992–2002. Львів, 2002. С. 30–40.
There could be named few reasons for that. Usually they were sent to the officer schools instead of being sent to the front. As Ukranian divisioners are mostly representatives of the first wave, here in Canada there are also people who joined the Division later in 1944 and, therefore, during summer of 1944 were still performing their military training.
186 Tovaryanska Oksana
It could be clearly seen from the Table 2 that the majority of people (30 persons) were arrested as 1) ordinary people who were under suspicion of belonging to the underground UPA movement; 2) UPA soldiers captured during the battle actions; and 3) for the anti-Soviet agitation etc. This means that the state did not define the separate category of «dyvizijnyky» as suspicious elements: it was busy with the Ukrainian resistance movement11.
They were mainly imprisoned according to the article 52–1 «a» and 52–11 of the USSR Criminal Codex and amnestied in 1955.
The legacy of being arrested by the Soviets has been questioned by the Division soldiers during their imprisonment. For example, Volodymyr Malkosh12, arrested on January 10, 1946 for fifteen years with no citizen rights for five years, was complaining to the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union in 1947, 1953 and 1954 asking for a softer verdict that was not
Out of 78 provided biographies I have selected those who are the Division veterans and not the members of the Youth SS. Counted by O.Tovaryanska based on data provided in Галицьке братство колишніх вояків І УД «Галичина» УНА 1992–2002. Львів, 2002.
It is clearly seen in the special postanova «To increase fighting with the ukrainiangerman nationalists in Western regions of Ukraine» on January 10, 1945 / Litopys UPA.
Tom 49. Book 1. 2010. P. 16.
By the Amnesty of September 17, 1955, his verdict has changed to 10 and 3 years respectfully and therefore Mr. Malkosh was able to return home to Ukraine in 1956.
From victimization to glorification… The second major and the most interesting group (26 persons) consist of POWs captured during the battle of Brody, or later in Austria, Slovakia etc.
Out of these 26 POWs, 7 persons were arrested during their «special settlements» in Siberia or during filtration process; and 3 persons escaped from prisoners camps and came back home to Ukraine, where they were arrested in 1947–1950 by NKVD. The rest of POWs (16 persons) had a possibility (or were released) to return to Ukraine in 1946–1953 or because of their disability or illness in 1946–47. From this, it could be preliminary concluded that Soviet policy towards prisoners of war was somehow more gentle than to the «anti-Soviet elements» (including Soviet POWs in Germany, members of the German police etc.) among Soviet citizens. Of course, such conclusion should be studied in more detail, including comparison of how Soviets treated German prisoners and Ukrainian prisoners in German uniforms. In fact, it is well-known that after the battle of Brody the majority of Galician Ukrainians (mostly with higher ranks) were shot after being captured but later on the policy was changed.
Next important feature is that 11 persons were neither arrested nor chased by Soviet authorities. For instance, two men were resettled to the Western Ukraine during the «Vistula» operation from Poland; one man had returned home after the battle of Brody and afterwards was mobilized to the Red Army. For the other people, it could be explained as a «lucky fate». For example, Vasyl Tymcij thinks that he was not arrested after the war because he joined the Division not from his native village but from the place where he was studying, and, therefore, nobody in his village knew what he was doing during the war14. Also it is an interesting example of Lubomyr Volunec (he is not included into this statistics) who was arrested because of «the anti-Soviet agitation» (he claimed the German army to be more disciplined than the Soviet one) in 1951 during his military training as a Red Army recruit15.
Therefore, experience of Gulag or possibility to be arrested was the most important feature that characterized the strategies of behavior of the former Division soldiers during entire Soviet period. Example of Vasyl Tymchii16
could illustrate such everyday practices very well:
Interview with Vasyl Tymchii. Private archive of the author.
GDA SBU, Fond 13, record # 12387, p. 20–134; interview with Lubomyr Volunec.
Private archive of the author.
«I consciously have left Ukraine and was working my entire life in Siberia at the factory because I knew that I could be captured at any moment. God saved me. I even was granted an award but I refused to accept it. One of my colleagues decided to take that award. You know that they [NKVD. — O.T] are checking every person before rewarding. So, as a result, my friend Ivan lost his job. He did not listen to me, unfortunately».17 Next characteristic it is possible to address here is the education of the Division veterans as another example of interactions with the state. It is seen (Table 3) that 14 people out of 61 did not decide to continue their studies completed in prewar Poland and as a result were working as carpenters, metalworkers etc. The vast majority had opportunity and desire to graduate from technical schools and even universities (2 people even became university teachers). In general, they did not obtain any high positions and were working mainly in technical sphere.
Ta b l e 3 Education of the Division veterans (Lviv stanytsya) Primary education Secondary education Higher Education 4 classes 7 classes General Technical After the collapse of the USSR, the Soviet Victory narrative still exerts a very important influence on the Ukrainian history writings and public opinion.
In 1994, all criminal records were overlooked by the SBU. Those who were arrested for the Division membership were not rehabilitated. / GDA SBU. Fond 13. Record 543.
From victimization to glorification… narrative. Therefore, former soldiers of the Division represent specific local ‘culture of memory’ among the war veterans in contemporary Ukraine.
After its creation in 1992, the Galician Brotherhood has become an active public organization in a close contact with other veteran organizations of the Western Ukraine (UPA Brotherhood, Union of the political prisoners etc). It has been active on the same basis and platform and as a part of the Brotherhood of the Veterans of the First Ukrainian Division of UNA (country and separate branches are represented mainly in the US, Canada, Argentina, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom etc). It unites former Division soldiers as well as members of the youth SS and the Division nurses. The main task of the Brotherhood is to propagate Ukrainian military traditions, provide moral and material support to the former Ukrainian combatants and their relatives and publication activities. In addition, the Galician Brotherhood takes care about «the recreation of the historical truth about Ukrainian military formations during WWI and WWII»19, and the graves of the Division soldiers20.
For the meaningful existence people need to have their own «story».
Raingart Kozelek argues that every story comes into being in certain surrounding with certain experiences and certain expectations: «there is no story, which would be produced beyond the peoples experience and expectations, who are acting or suffering in it»21. Making the past ‘available’ to the future generations is not an easy task. Since its establishment, numerous articles have appeared in the local newspapers about the Division and its activities.
The Brotherhood members had lectured in the schools and in different local youth organizations, political parties etc. Thanks to the help of the Brotherhood in Diaspora, numerous literatures about the Division has been received and afterwards send to the local public, school and university libraries, museums, exhibitions, NGOs etc. It was especially valuable during the first post-soviet years when the majority of population did not have any knowledge about this military formation22.
It established several ritual performances to memorize important anniversaries: the Brody Battle yearly commemorations in July, which take place near Ozhydiv, Lviv oblast, UPA, Bazar and Kruty commemorations, monuments founding, prayers and celebrations over the mass graves, the Свідоцтво про реєстрацію об’єднання громадян № 97 від 10 жовтня 1995 // ДАТО. Ф. Р-3464. Оп. 1. Спр. 59. Арк. 4.
Заява від 20 серпня 1995 // ДАТО. Ф. Р-3464. Оп. 1. Спр. 59. Арк. 1.
Heroes Celebration etc. to remind the community about its identity, first of all the collective one. Such events usually take place near the «memorial sites», such as the Brody Memorial, the Division Memorial, the UPA Memorial, enforcing the effect of the unity and the collective feelings.
Victimization vs. glorification: instead of a conclusion
My argument is that after 1991 the Galician Brotherhood has become a consumer and distributor of the Division narrative (created in Diaspora) in Ukraine. Former Division soldiers, who are living now in Ukraine, received a ready narrative of «fighters for Ukrainian independence» as a starting point how to present themselves to the public. In post-Soviet realities of public euphoria during the early 1990s, this narrative was put into a good ground especially when the mark of «Motherland betrayal» has become not relevant anymore. Moreover, this narrative was not questioned by accusations in war atrocities (as it has been a case in Canada in 1986 or the UK in the late 1990s) except for the issue of collaboration. The case of the Galician Brotherhood should be observed as part of a general tendency in Western Ukraine.
Its members were already pensioners in their late 60s usually with a poor state of their health and hard life circumstances who after almost fifty years of silence receive an opportunity to talk and become important history actors.
They were encouraged to «remind» themselves what happened in 1943–45 in a condition of public demand and social need as a member of the Brotherhood.
As a result of particular life circumstances, joining the Division was seen exactly that key moment in their lives, which became a center point and influenced the rest of their life. The main motive of the veterans’ stories is to legitimize themselves and the community in the official discourse frame.
Some of them devoted the rest of their lives to this issue.
In contrary, in Canadian case veterans are united as a community among other nations and in a desire to save and protect their own Ukrainian roots.
Moreover, dyvizijnyky as a particular group is a highly respected group of the Ukrainian Canadian community who also obtained the highest positions in the leading Ukrainian organizations. As a result of such life circumstances, the Division period influenced the rest of their lives (at first — possibility to emigrate and to leave normal lives) but is not seen as one of the most significant.
We should always ask about missing elements in the narrative and individual life stories especially during the period of war when violence is represented in all spheres of everydayness. Tendency to present themselves as
From victimization to glorification…
a nation-victim and inability to recognize and silence its «dark spots» has been debated over the last decade in numerous articles23. In case with dyvizijnyky, the victimhood is well presented while the representation of being a possible perpetrator is almost missing. Violence directed to people is usually remembered very well and could even become a core push for uniting people. They mostly remember being victims of the violence managed by the Soviet state and as a result their self-representations tend to refuse everything concerning «Soviet». This is partly due to the specifics of the sample of respondents I have but the same tendency is also in memoirs. Individual contradictions with the narrative are not part of this particular paper.
See: Himka J.-P. A Central European Diaspora under the Shadow of World
War II: The Galician Ukrainians in North America // Austrian History Yearbook. 2006.
Vol. 37. P. 17–31; Himka J.-P. War Criminality: A Blank Spot in the Collective Memory of the Ukrainian Diaspora // Spaces of identity. 2005. Vol. 5. N 1. P. 9–24; Anders P.
Multiculturalism, Memory, and Ritualization: Ukrainian Nationalist Monuments in Edmonton, Alberta // Nationalities Papers. 2011. Vol. 39. N 5. P. 733–768.
НОВЫЕ ИДЕНТИЧНОСТИматериалы научной конференции студентов и аспирантов 19–20 апреля 2013 года, Санкт-Петербург
Отпечатано в типографии ООО «Политехника-Сервис»
190005, Санкт-Петербург, Измайловский пр. 18-д